A few days ago an angry mom drove her car into the Hudson River, killing three of her four kids. One child, a 10-year-old, made it out alive. This story recalls the incident and the reasons why it happened. It also looks peeks into the heart and soul of that 10-year-old boy.
Let’s get this straight: a young mother of four children, the oldest 10 years old, has a horrific argument with their father and within a couple of hours drives the family car into the Hudson River.
The result? Three dead children and a deceased murderer, whose death will be ruled a suicide. Somehow her oldest son refused to die and escaped the underwater tomb. But the burden this young man bares is unimaginable. His three best friends in the world and his supposed ace guardian are gone, and he is already blaming himself for his siblings’ deaths because he had not taught them how to swim, He also pains over his inability to unbuckle his sister from her safety seat during the incident.
What caused this mother to commit an act that should guarantee her a spot in the afterlife that would make fire and brimstone seem like a visit to Disney World?
A man, a freakin’ man, the kind people love to watch on , Judge Judy and any one of those loser reality shows that make celebrities out of creeps. This tragedy began when dear old dad violated a temporary restraining order and came banging at the woman’s door for 30 minutes, according to neighbors. It was allegedly the latest in a series of loud, profane-packed visits to the house by the man. Apparently, he had a sweet tooth for women other than the one who bore his children. Naturally, the boys’ mother had reason to be unhappy with him.
Perhaps the mom also was displeased that the unwelcome visitor was violating a restraining order to stay at least 200 feet away from his two year old son. Apparently the shoeless, near-nude boy was spotted on the snow-covered street alone at 1:15 a.m. on a cold February night, asking a man who found him, “where’s my dad?” Daddy, offering a convoluted excuse, showed up a while later with one of his sweet tarts who claimed to be the boy’s mother. Legal action was taken two days later.
But we still must face the fact that there is nothing that can justify the betrayal to motherhood, the betrayal to mankind, and the betrayal to four children. Three little angels are gone, and a 10-year-old boy sits torturing himself in the realization that Superman is only make-believe and that he could not save any of his siblings.
Sadly, even when a gifted psychologist, friend or loved one convinces him that he is at fault for nothing, the boy will forever hear emptiness where before he rejoiced in sharing laughter with his brothers, sister and mother. Saddest, in this boy’s heart he echoes of quietness will always be louder than the past and future laughs.
Why do we do this to our children?
Children don’t ask to be born, but once alive they deserve nothing but the best a parent can offer, and I am not talking about money or material goods. I am talking about love. I am talking about discipline. I am talking about compassion, understanding and nurturing.
It doesn’t help that American society has turned into a foul-mouthed, bad behaving symbol of irresponsibility and selfishness. Kids aren’t born with those instincts, but they parrot what they see. If the models a child lives with every day act like low-life gutter snipes, chances are that the child will turn into a societal loser. There are no guarantees, because there have been some rotten humans brought up by wonderful parents.
But I will take those odds for those brought up by parents whose favorite adjective-noun pairing does not begin with an F and a B. I will take those odds for children brought up in homes where two year olds sleep under warm covers dressed in wooly pajamas on a cold winter’s night. I will take those odds for those brought up in household where fidelity and honesty are cherished, and handling breaches of such are handled maturely and away from the children.
Despite what was going on around him before and during the incident, the 10-year-old, managed to gently tell his father that he loved him, which resulted in the father echoing the same sentiments. Somehow, the 10-year-old defied the odds and lived by his heart during the worst of times.
Tonight three little angels are at peace, and will be laid to rest on April 21. Ironically, the one who survived may never find that same peace as he lives. I believe he will live a long and productive life. He has some loving family members and one heck of a heart.
But I pray that he finds peace, too, a peace that will bring a smile to his face instead of tears when he thinks of his siblings.